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The War Room With Jennifer Granholm

News/Business. (2012) New. (CC) (Stereo)

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01:00:00

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PG

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Virtual Ch. 107 (CURNT)

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ac3

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528

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480

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Us 14, Israel 10, Jennifer 7, Iran 5, Detroit 5, Michigan 4, Jennifer Granholm 3, Eliot 2, Haley Barbour 2, Dennis 2, Toni Bunton 2, Lysol 2, Steve 2, Wall St. 2, America 2, Heaven 2, The City 2, City 1, You Bet 1, Mission For Health 1,
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  Current    The War Room With Jennifer Granholm    News/Business.   
   (2012) New. (CC) (Stereo)  

    November 21, 2012
    7:00 - 8:00pm PST  

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thanksgiving. good night. ♪ >> jennifer: i'm jennifer granholm. tonight in "the war room," we give thanks for a moment of peace, and we pray that it's not fleeting. ♪ >> jennifer: what different worlds we all live in, separated by oceans and lands, by culture and custom, and yet there are virtues that flow within the current of all of our lives that connect us, and surely chief among them is forgiveness. if we have the capacity to forgive, then we have reason for hope. palestinians and israelis who must at times feel they have not one thing in common they are feeling the exact same thing,
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hope that thesis -- the creasefire holds, and as connected as we all are we hope right along with them. [♪ theme music ♪] >> jennifer: we are in "the war room," but there is good news out of the middle east tonight, which is that the region is calm for the first time in eight days. there are no rocket blasts piercing the quiet night. there are no missiles streaking across the sky mother on both sides of the border can look up at the same bright star and breathe just a little bit easy ere because their children are
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safe. hamas and israel have agreed to a ceasefire for the moment. each side launched about 1500 strikes, and there were violent protests in the west bank in which one palestinian was killed. the final straw was the bombing of a crowded tel-aviv bus today that blast injured 21 israelis. late today secretary of state hillary clinton joined egypt's foreign minister to announce a ceasefire agreement which says . . .
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>> jennifer: secretary clinton praised the leadership but says there is still work to be done. >> egypt's new government is assuming the responsibility and leadership that has long made this country a cornerstone of regional peace, as i discussed today with the others there is no substitute for a just and lasting peace. >> jennifer: lasting peace will not come easy though, the region is still extremely fragile, and israel's military reported that the palestinians have launched five rockets since thesis fire began, and in gaza city palestinians shut guns in the air, and meanwhile mosques across the region congratulated
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palestinians for their victory over israel. israel's prime minister benjamin netenyahu left the door open, saying i know there are citizens who are expecting more severe military action, and perhaps we will need to do so. joining us now is tim mak, defense reporter for political. he comes to us tonight from washington, d.c. tim thank you so much for being here. >> thank you, governor. >> jennifer: how important was it to regional stability that this deal was brokered by both the u.s. and egypt's muslim brotherhood. >> it's extremely important. the question is how durable this
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ceasefire will be. every day israelis living in the area around the gaza strip don't believe it's durable. tomorrow morning the schools in two of the towns within range, they are going to be close, and the reason is people aren't sure hamas will keep to its end of the bargain. >> jennifer: obviously those rockets out of the gaza today are some indication of that. this is not a permanent solution, but how are both sides spinning it? >> sure. there the israel standpoint they are saying this conflict has allowed us to demonstrate the resiliency of this iron dome defense system. gaza has been able to say we have been able to fight off a
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lot of attacks from israel this shows our resiliency. their coming to a ceasefire is a broader view from all perspective as well. >> jennifer: well, for sure. and both sides agree to stop firing, but there is something interesting in the agreement that says that israel will refrain from restricting palestinian residents free movement. what will that mean? >> basically what that means is there will be an easing -- at least what i interpret it to mean, is there will be an easing on restrictions of the free movement of goods and people into the gaza strip. what that will mean is that israel is willing to put it out there that they will step back
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slightly from tamping down on the movement of goods and food stuffs and medical supplies and so on into the gaza strip. >> jennifer: netenyahu said he and president obama agreed to stop smuggling weapons. he said those weapons, quote, arrive mostly from iran. we had a couple of guests on last night who said that iran was not arming hamas. >> i have done a little digging on this. there is a lot of real evidence to suggest that iran is helping to arm groups linked to hamas or hamas itself groups in the gaza strip. i don't think that's really disputable. what is disputable however is
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the extent to which it is playing in the violence. when you look at the rockets that were being fired from the gaza strip, we're talking really primitive rockets which are really no more than a metal tube fired off. the kinds of weapons we see reaching tel-aviv and jerusalem those are the kinds of weapons that iran would have a hand on. >> jennifer: could netenyahu's assertion that iran is arming hamas, could that indicate that he is considering military action against iran? >> i think it's very premature to read the tea leaves on this. already netenyahu has indicated a willingness for a strike on
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iran under certain conditions. he hasn't so much said it or -- >> jennifer: but he has given a red line, though. >> he -- he has given a red line, and i think the point is that netenyahu given the right conditions wouldn't hesitate to strike if he felt it were necessary. and these are two countries that have been at odds and high tension for a very long time. it's not news to israel that iran is helping to arm hamas. what he is doing is sending a clear signal to iron don't keep doing this, and seconding a signal to hamas, don't keep rearming. >> jennifer: just in this mast moment, both sides are indicating that this ceasefire is just that a temporary solution. what would a lasting peace for a two-state solution look like? >> we're quite far from that in my estimation. we're just looking at the first
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few hours of a ceasefire. negotiations like this is all about the small steps. it's earning trust over time. and that's going to take a long period. the durability of thesis fire whether or not this extrordanaire turn of events whether this holds really fortells if we can find trust and negotiating ability in the future. >> jennifer: for sure. it will be very very interesting. and certainly a huge second-term obama goal, i would assume to forge lasting peace. tim mak, thank you so much for joining us inside "the war room." and from the hope for peace, we turn to the hope of thanksgiving, hope that people can forgive and lives can turn around, but tonight it's in that hope that we want to share with
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you three stories. tony went to prison at the age of 17, and as governor of michigan i commuted her sentence. together we'll tell you our story, and then there is no way to describe the pain felt by this woman when her life was shattered by the murder of her brother. and while nothing can compare to a personal tragedy, there is a shared sadness when we watch a community collapse and certainly a shared sense of renewal when it is reborn and that is the story of detroit.
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>>i jump out of my skin at
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people when i'm upset. do you share the sense of outrage that they're doing this, this corruption based on corruption based on corruption. >>i think that's an understatement, eliot. u>> i'm not prone tot. why that is. i think the mob learned from wall st., not vice versa. ♪ >> jennifer: you are back inside "the war room." i'm jennifer granholm on this night before thanksgiving as we breathe a sigh of relief over the course correction in the middle east, let's talk about human course correction the
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body of forgiveness. therese's younger brother was killed outside of a strip club. >> oh, my god. oh, my god. >> 911 what is your emergency? >> i need an ambulance, somebody had been shot. they are in the parking lot. they are laying on the ground. they have been shot. >> my little brother, my soul meat. the one who in evidence completed me, fell to the ground at the age of 33 and met guy. i wanted the gunshot to miss his heart. i wanted to take back the night of the phone call, the panic, the shocking news that traveled across state, waking the people who loved him.
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>> jennifer: this tragedy had the exact opposite effect she is now a strong advocate for redemption. she even went so far as to meet her brother's killer. she comes to us tonight from charlotte, north carolina. thanks for joining us. >> thank you so much for having me. >> jennifer: you get. forgiveness has been i can only imagine a long journey for you. what was your life like right after your brother's murder? >> right after steve was killed he was such a defining person in my life, that it was very hard to figure out who i was supposed to be without him. i was in a new marriage. we had only been married a couple of months had new
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stepchildren, so this news really rocked our world. about three weeks after steve was killed, i went to a bond hearing, and that was the first time i saw karl the young man who killed him and i was very angry the first time i saw him. >> jennifer: yeah. >> i thought, you know, i could kill this guy. i really felt that kind of anger, and i think that's understandable. >> jennifer: sure. >> but within moments, i kind of had a shift, and i started to see him as this young man -- which he was, he was 22 when he committed the crime, and i wondered what his story was, and who he was, and what brought him to that place? >> jennifer: so you decided to recount this journey in a documentary, and i assume that's what made you do it?
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>> it was. i was very drawn to karl and understanding who he was, and who people were that committed crimes, and so in that moment of seeing him i think that's what really drew me into doing this documentary was this conflict i had about forgiveness i felt like maybe if i forgave him maybe i was forgiving my brother. >> jennifer: and i'm interested in learning what you found out about karl that caused you to -- to change to -- i'm assuming to forgive. what did you learn? >> well, i -- i learned that he had had a very challenging childhood, and i don't believe that -- that that in any way excuses what he did, but i think as a fellow human being i owe it to him to understand him and to
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know him as human, and to know we all come from different backgrounds, have different stories, and have things that influence our lives in good and bad ways obviously. >> jennifer: i want to show this clip from the film where you go face-to-face with karl. watch this for one moment. >> i forgave you a long time ago for killing my brother, and maybe -- maybe you cared about that or maybe you didn't, but i want you to know that. >> i appreciate that you forgive -- that you forgave me and it wasn't something that i really felt was necessary to me to hear from you or even to get from you. >> jennifer: so that's so fascinating. what was that meeting like? and did you get what you, looking for? >> well, it's so interesting, because now when i screen the film, a lot of the people in the
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audience ask that question did you get what you were looking for, because as an audience member i did not get what i was looking for. i think i got on the journey what i was looking for. it was unconditional forgiveness, because forgiveness in my mind is who i am going to be in the world. and that's really what it boiled down to, it's not about what he says or does because frankly i don't know that he could ever do enough that would make me feel like he deserved it. >> jennifer: so it's really a personal story, but you have also become a strong advocate for restorative justice in this process. what -- what is that? >> well, i did become a very strong advocate for restorative justice, and it's a really hard
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thing to put into a nutshell, but it's a way of looking at crime that really looks at you know, the needs of the people involved. the community, the offender the victim, really address how everyone is involved. rather than focusing on how much can we punish this person. it asks the victim what do you need to heal and move on, and involve the community in that conversation, and currently our system just doesn't do that. >> jennifer: right it doesn't -- there are some courts that have begun to take this on to make the community whole by repairing and restoring the crime that was given, but when it is a murder, that is a totally different thing. in the final minute here what do you want people to take away
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from your experience? >> really, i guess i want people to contemplate different ways that we can do -- do business as far as crime and punishment is concerned. ways that will better serve the victims in our community. and understand all victims don't have the same need and don't feel the need to forgive and that is okay. >> jennifer: well you are a courageous person for having made the documentary, and honestly for forgiving. thank you for joining us. after the break, when she was sentenced to between 25 and 50 years in prison at age 17, toni east life as far as everyone was
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concerned her life was over. but her life took a different turn.
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tell them it's like being nestled in an eight-way, adjustable, heated and ventilated seat surrounded by a 500-watt sound system while floating on a suspension made of billowy clouds. or you could just hand them your keys. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ [ voice of dennis ] allstate. with accident forgiveness, they guarantee your rates won't go up just because of an accident. smart kid. [ voice of dennis ] indeed. are you in good hands?
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right by those who gave their lives to for this country nearly 70 years ago. christianity teaches us forgiveness, and second chances. i'm not saying i'll be perfect, that nobody who received clemency will ever do nothing wrong. i'm not infallible and nobody else is, but i am very comfortable and totally at peace with these pardons. >> jennifer: that's former mississippi governor haley barbour, defending his con trover shall decision to hand down 200 pardons.
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i too am a strong believer in second chances, and when i was governor of michigan i issued orders for nearly 200 inmates, which is the state record. toni bunton is one of the people i felt deserved a second chance. she spent more than 16 years behind bars for her part in a drug deal that ended in murder but in 2009 after a lot of deliberation i decided to free toni from her 25 to 50-year sentence. and tonight toni is joining us from detroit. toni welcome inside "the war room." >> thank you for inviting me. >> jennifer: so tell us what have you been doing since your sentence was commuted? >> i graduated from the university of michigan with a master's degree in women's studies.
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i work for a nonprofit organization in detroit that provides after-school programs for girls, and ged classes for woman, and i work as a community organizer in southwest detroit, and i plan to go to law school. >> jennifer: all right. so no incidents, nothing has hand that would cause me to regret the decision right? >> absolutely not. >> jennifer: okay. so tell people -- i don't think people can imagine what it was like to spending 16 years in prison and then one day be free. >> it was like living in hell and then walking into heaven. every day i'm so grateful to have an opportunity to live as a free person and to pursue my career and to be with my family and friends, and i'm just so grateful every day.
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>> jennifer: and you are i hear a young mother as well. >> i am. i had a child a little girl and i want you to know governor granholm, when you look at her picture, i want you to know that her life would not have been possible, had you not given me a second chance. >> jennifer: now you are going to make me cry. [ laughter ] >> jennifer: so did you ever imagine that you would receive a commutation one day? >> i had always had belief -- i have a strong spiritual belief and faith, so i had always believed that i would walk out of prison, but i knew that there was a possibility that i would die there, like so many other women that i had served time with. i knew there was possibility
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that it could be a long time before i got out decades. so, yes, i couldn't believe when it -- it had finally happened. >> jennifer: do you -- do you think that your -- that any of your fellow inmates deserved to have their sentences commuted as well? would you feel like there were some in there who's sentences were commuted that you wouldn't be putting a risk into the community? >> there are wonderful women in prison. they made a mistake, and they -- many of them are just like me, and they have very compelling stories, and reasons why they deserve a second chance. they just haven't had their case reviewed yet, and so yes is the answer to your question. there are many many women that
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i left in prison that deserve a second chance. >> jennifer: mississippi governor haley barbour actually got a lot of flak for his pardons. tell the folks watching why second chances are so important, not just for the person but for the community as well. >> i believe second chances are very important because a politician, a governor who puts their political career in jeopardy to give a second chance to a human being who probably never had a chance in life that person, that politician is putting humanity before politics, and that person has a place in heaven waiting for them, and what it does is it says to the community that we
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are forgiving people and that we -- we will not stand for locking up everyone indefinitely and overincarcerating, and what it also does is it stands for justice. >> jennifer: so having been in prison for 16 years, which i know was like hell, as you have described, was there anything positive that you took away from those years? >> yes, the relationships that i formed with many of the women that i left behind. many of the women were battered women. many of them weren't the actual perpetrators in their crimes, but most of them have spent decades behind bars. they don't have a voice. people don't know their stories
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and those women -- they helped me become who i am today, and also my education, that -- that i got in prison and my love for books. those things i take away as good aspects from prison but most importantly those women they met who are like family to me and really deserve a second chance. >> jennifer: well, toni, you obviously are a great example of what can happen if somebody who has the power to commute can take a risk. you are a tax-paying citizen. you are contributing and giving back, and, you know, maybe there's a lesson there for others who are contemplating just for everybody who is watching as i mentioned i commuted almost 200 sentences, only one person of those 2 00 has recidivated, and that was
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some guy stealing a pig trough in a barn, and all of the rest are out there, and working, and trying -- trying to live, and it's much better than paying $35,000 a year keeping them in prison. toni bunton thank you for joining us in "the war room." up next we have seen how individuals can pick up the pieces in the face of tragedy and loss. but what about an entire city? we'll be right back. politics to current tv. >> it's like a reality show, they're just turning cameras on and we just do our thing. >>politically direct to me means no b.s., the real thing, cutting through the clutter. i'm energized to start my show everyday because it's fun, because i care about what's going on in this country, rather than some sort of tired banter it is actual water cooler talk
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it's the way people really talk about these issues. we've always considered ourselves a comedy show. let me just say i am not ready for my close up. i think it's important to laugh. i think it will be exciting, because you can't script three hours of radio. what is going on? i can't tell you how many times right wingers call the show and say, "i don't agree with anything you say, but your show is funny as hell." the only thing that can save america now, current tv. can i say that? plus a 50% annual bonus. and everyone likes 50% more... [ midwestern/chicago accent ] cheddar! yeah! 50 percent more [yodeling] yodel-ay-ee-oo. 50% more flash. [ southern accent ] 50 percent more taters. that's where tots come from. [ male announcer ] the capital one cash rewards card gives you 1% cash back on every purchase plus a 50% annual bonus on the cash you earn. it's the card for people who like more cash. 50% more spy stuff. what's in your wallet? this car is too small.
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the chill of peppermint. the rich dark chocolate. york peppermint pattie get the sensation. ♪ >> jennifer: now i know detroit really well as obviously the former governor of michigan i know it's the poster child of the de-industrialization of america, but i know the city more deeply than that. my husband and i were married in
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detroit. we lived and worked in detroit. our first home was in detroit. our oldest children were born in detroit. i have seen and lived and held its good and its bad, and there are lots of both. and you have no doubt heard lots about the bad, but you haven't heard, i'm sure of it the love story. there are lots of us who love detroit bruises and all, and today there's are signs of life green shoots rising up a phoenix rising from the ashes. joining me now from detroit is mark binelli, author of a terrific new book "detroit city is the place to be." mark, thank you so much for joining us inside "the war room." >> thanks so much for having me. >> jennifer: you bet. i thoroughly enjoyed your book. for those of you who aren't so
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familiar with detroit, let me start with the obvious, how has the auto industry's come back played a role in the city's rebirth? >> that's where the book started. it was originally a story for the rolling stone, which i went back to cover the auto industry in 2009 which as you know was a very dire time. the city had become sort of the poster child of the recession, and really for three days after i arrived in detroit, i remember sitting in a dive bar in downtown detroit watching president obama's inauguration. the book really became a snapshot of his first term as president seen from ground zero of the recession, and i think coming off of this last election, he very rightfully took credit for the bailout and
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i think that like the bank bailout, it's -- it was a shifting a lot of taxpayer money to these huge multinational corporations, and maybe not enough of the upside trickled down to regular people. >> jennifer: well, your book is a -- it's a candid love story, really. you don't hold back the raw truths, but you recognize that detroit is like a phoenix project. what have you seen that should give people hope? >> well, one thing is the economy is finally starting to diversify. i think that has been a positive thing about the auto industry being on the ropes. the city and the state as a whole doesn't seem to be putting all of its shifts solely on the auto industry as it happens did in the past and i write quite a bit about the bottom-up energy
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that is happening in the city. and i write about the do it yourself city like detroit. the government really isn't functioning properly, but it does give people the sort of space to do things like plant urban gardens or just start their sort of own entrepreneurial operations without much getting in the way, because as i said there's not -- >> jennifer: there's a lot of land. right. detroit was a city that was built for 2 million people but now only about 700,000 live there. and people are using some of that vacant land for -- for example, urban farming. how successful has that been? >> it is doing good.
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it is sort of a metaphor these green shoots coming from the industrialists of our society. but it's obviously a deficit that the city has 40-some miles of vacant land that's paris, and turning that into a positive thing. just this week the city council is supposed to be voting on a project by a local businessman who wants to buy something like 1400 acres of vacant city land and plant a huge tree farm. so that's thinking outside of the box i find very exciting. >> jennifer: i do too. the major had an unusual plan which was to move citizens from vacant more dispersed areas, he rolled that out, but how is that working? >> it has been slow coming.
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there are so many great ideas put forth for the future of detroit, if you look at the renders of what detroit could look like it's really exciting but as you well know there is just no money for a lot of these projects, so something like detroit works, the right-sizing plan that you just mentioned a lot of that is being funded by outside organizations, nonprofits. the city itself though is basically on the verge of bankruptcy. 40% of the streetlights don't work. there aren't enough police and firefighters, half of the schools have closed, but the big problem is money. >> yeah, well -- and the big problem is money but many -- and we're watching some programs right now. a lot of pictures have been taken of so-called ruined porn in detroit, but as one detroiter
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put it in your book, detroit is not some abstract art project. how would you like people outside of detroit to view the city? >> that was really one of the reasons why i decided to write this book. nationally and internationally people were coming to detroit -- reporters, particularly, to take photos of these ruined factories, kind of in a gawking pruient sort of way. i feel like that has shifted over the course of my reporting. and now like you saw with the popularity of the chrysler ads during the super bowl people really want detroit to succeed. so i think -- i feel like
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that's -- that's been a really -- surprising to me -- movement but also a great one. >> jennifer: i totally agree with you. i think detroit is unique and i would expect that you would think, especially with the writing in your book, that there is a model there, and a hope there of rebirth and renaissance, and maybe for other places. do you agree? >> oh i think so. detroit has been held up so long as the worst place in the country. if they can make it work scranton new york, or stockton california, any of those places can make it work. so it is exciting thinking outside of the box. >> jennifer: mark you are a crisp and really interesting writer. i found the book to be fascinating.
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thanks for joining us inside "the war room." and after the break, it's my turn to give thanks. ♪
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jennifer speaks truth to power. >>the bottom line is we need an amendment. >>now it's your turn. connect with "the war room" jennifer granholm. >>it's a call to arms. make your voice heard. ♪ >> jennifer: now to my point, my giving thanks on thanksgiving. i am so thankful for many things this year, but especially this past month. i'm thankful for the people of this country who voted with their hearts for the reelection of president obama and the record number of female senator. i'm grateful for the strong consensus that we ought as a nation to invest in ourselves
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and our infrastructure and our people, and our human capital, i'm grateful that we will find solutions to fix a warming planet. i'm grateful for the faith communities that volunteer to feed the poor in soup kich ens. i'm grateful for soldiers who serve us in lands far away from home. i'm grateful for second chances, for forgiveness. i'm grateful for a ceasefire in israel and gaza. i'm grateful that human beings have the capacity for resurrection, that hearts can soften that bruised egos can be soothed, and bruced people can be healed. that a renaissance city can be reborn. i'm really thankful for a dinner where the turkey skin is golden
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brown encasing the juices from a tender bird basted with butter and garlic salt and of course i'm also grateful to be able to share that dinner with my incredible family, my soulful husband, dan, and those fascinating and unique human beings who are my children, kate and cece and jack, all of whom i love with every fiber of my being. i'm thankful to be blessed with a mind-blowingly scrappy team here in "the war room." they put in long hours and heart and soul to create this unique and thoughtful show for you, and i'm grateful for you, dear viewers who found us on this upstart network and have stuck with us as we continue to grow. for everyone who has shared this journey, participated in this wonderful, infuriating,
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perplexing and inspiring story that is democracy. thank you. i'm grateful this is a story that will not end. so happy thanksgiving to you and yours. we all have much to be grateful for. do you share the sense of outrage that they're doing this, this corruption based on corruption based on corruption. >>i think that's an understatement, eliot. u>> i'm not prone tot. understatement, so explain to me why that is. i think the mob learned from wall st., not vice versa. fruit just got cooler. fruit on one side, cool on the other.
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the irs is going >> obama: they say that life is all about second chances.
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[ laughter ] >> obama: and this november i could not agree more. [ laughter ] >> obama: so in the spirit of the season, i have one more gift to give, and it goes to a pair of turkeys named cobbler and gobbler. the winners of the white house turkey pardon were chosen through a highly competitive online vote, and once again, nate silver completely nailed it. [ laughter ] >> jennifer: so fitting that on a day where much of our focus has been on forgiveness and pardon that the president got into the act. of course that was over two turkeys camed cobbler and gobbler. every president has taken part in the pardon except for presidents eisenhower and johnson who both ate the birds
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presented to them. finally tonight we'll give thanks in a different way. let's give thanks to brett ehrlich, and remember that laughter really is the best medicine. ♪ >> hey, friends before you head off to thanksgiving this weekend, and have a nice little dinner with your family i thought you might want to grab a little cup of coffee warm your hands by the fire and take time to listen to what i'm thankful for this year. i'm thankful i made a mad dash to buy a million twinkies. i can sell them for a profit or have a delicious way to binge away the sadness. i'm glad that robert pattenson and christian stewart back together, it proves that no matter how much infidelity you
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experience along the way, you can still stay together. yesterday mitt romney went to disneyland, and said this might be the happy us place on earth, but it doesn't even compare to planet culob. and i'm thankful that anderson cooper puts his twitter haters in his place. thanks anderson. i'll treat my haters the same way, as soon as anyone cares enough to hate me. happy thanksgiving. ♪ >> jennifer: all right. everybody thanks so much for joining us here in "the war room." have a great night. have a wonderful thanksgiving, and we will see you all back here on monday.
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